Women’s Hoops Takes Five

The GAC COVID Policy Sends the Reddies on a Five-Game Hiatus

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Haley Spicer, Sports Reporter

The update on the COVID protocols that the Great American Conference follows didn’t bring great news to the fans, as they are still prohibited from attending basketball games for the remainder of the month.

The last basketball game that the Reddies women played was against Harding on January 14,2021. Their next game will be January 30,2021 against Harding, due to the cancellation of five games, including matchups versus Arkansas-Monticello, two games against Ouachita, Arkansas Tech, and Southern Arkansas.

With COVID basketball games comes contract tracing and quarantining. The Great American Conference said that there has to be at least seven players healthy to be able to compete; Henderson has failed to meet those requirements. Other teams that have had to miss the five-game minimum include Ouachita Baptist, who began their season that way.

All 12 teams are eligible to compete in the GAC tournament this season, as the conference presumes that no team will play a complete season due to absences from contact tracing. In addition, the conference has been split into an East and West division, with the Arkansas schools comprising the East and Oklahoma schools making up the West. Each team’s season will be a 20-game divisional schedule.

The basketball games already have a different atmosphere due to the lack of fans, and continuous adjustments are being made to keep the players and everyone involved safe, including both team benches being sanitized in between games. Both sets of bench chairs are separated six feet apart as well.

When fans get the green light to cheer on their teams, they will have to wear face masks and sit 12 feet from the court and 6 feet apart in the stands. The first five games of the season were fan-less, but after evaluation, the conference decided to extend the policy through the rest of the month of January.